Gaethje defeated Ferguson with a technical knockout in the fifth round, ending Ferguson's 12-fight winning streak. However, Ferguson earned $50,000 for sharing the "Fight of the Night" card with Gaethje.
ESPN's Marc Raimondi relayed that Ferguson, Gaethje and any fighter on the UFC 249 card could lose his or her purse for defaming or disparaging the UFC's COVID-19 protocols applied for Saturday's event.
Raimondi added everybody involved with UFC 249 was "asked to sign a liability waiver earlier in the week" that included a non-disparagement clause.
"First of all, there's something in the contract for disparagement," Dana White said, per Raimondi. "There's a disparagement clause in there that's in all of our contracts. [A problem] would be like if you came out and said they never tested me—'The UFC never tested me for the coronavirus.' But if you had something critical to say about the testing that was true, that wouldn't be disparagement."
Khabib Nurmagomedov was initially tapped to fight Ferguson, but travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic prevented the 31-year-old from leaving his native Russia. Gaethje was announced as Ferguson's replacement opponent on April 6.
Gaethje improved to 22-2-0 overall and extended his knockout/technical knockout streak to four. Superseding all of that, the 31-year-old claimed the interim lightweight title belt.
There were no fans in attendance for the event at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena.